Natural and Safe Remedies Guaranteed to Protect Your Children From the Flu Virus
As the deadly flu season continues to wreak havoc, parents and physicians alike are looking for the best ways to fight the flu this season. If you haven't already noticed, I am originally from the Caribbean. Antigua to be exact. My lifestyle and upbringing was dramatically different to the life my kids are currently living here in New York. I grew up in a village. Like, literally. Most of my neighbors were family members and neighbors always looked out for each other. Our community was small, but we were strong. A huge part of our culture, was how well we utilized our surroundings into our lifestyle, particularly our diet. Lemongrass and mint grew wild in my backyard which made it so easy for brewing tea at any time we wished. Cane trees, a mango tree, soursop (annona muricta) tree and a lime tree are some of the other flora that grew in our backyard. How convenient right?. It was nature at its best and I miss it, more so now than ever.
After both of my children experienced a bout of the flu almost three times for the season, with my 18 month old being the most afflicted (I actually had to leave work one day after her daycare called about her having a 103 degree temperature), I was determined to do something different. The latest episode only maybe two weeks ago, started with low grade fevers and runny noses. I decided enough was enough. I was going to take matters into my own hands. It was time to go "old school".
Having lived in the United States for almost 20 years, I have become complacent and too "American" for lack of a better word (no offense at all to being American. Love Americans) but what I am trying to say is, having lived here all this time has caused me to lose a lot of my Caribbean roots. Flu shots are ok, I guess (we have had them before. It did seem to work. Not sure. Who knows). Back in the Caribbean however, we tend to eat things of the earth and utilize lots of natural herbs for healing purposes and preventative medicine. There are also lots of great supplements that you will find in almost every Caribbean person's home, which we cannot find in the pharmacies here. One such supplement is specifically the Seven Seas Cod Liver oil, which I credit for cutting short my kids' last flu episode.
Here's a full list of natural aids and remedies that I guarantee will help keep your family healthy this flu season.
1. The Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil - You may already be familiar with the benefits of cod liver oil, but the Seven Seas brand, manufactured in the U.K. is known to be pretty potent. In other words, this is the good stuff. According to the blog naturalmama.com though she is not in favor of supplements for kids, she makes an exception for cod liver oil because it is so effective in protecting against flu and colds.
Besides asking family members or friends to bring me a bottle or two when coming to visit me from Antigua, the only other option for finding this magic elixir is on amazon and even there it is not so easy to find. This brand is an immune buzzing booster and is safe for the entire family. Give your babies and toddlers 1 teaspoon in warm milk, tea or juice. The oil coagulates in cold temperatures so avoid them. The smell and taste is VERY strong, so beware.
2. Camphor Essential Oil and Coconut Oil Rub - Camphor is very popular in the Caribbean, and comes from the plant called Cinnamomum Camphor. In fact we tend to see it and use it more in its solid form, but that is also very difficult to find in the U.S. Nevertheless, camphor is distilled from the bark of the tree and is used for many things such as itchy skin, relief of pain and swelling and even toe nail fungus. More than anything else though, camphor is known as a nasal decongestant and cough reliever. If your kids have already begun to show symptoms of the cold or flu and are suffering with congestion and a cough here is what you want to do. Take 1 tablespoon of pure coconut oil and pour it into a ceramic or glass container. Then place two - three drops of camphor oil and mix it together. Use that rub on your child's neck, chest and back paying close attention to the rib cage area where the lungs are located as well as under their feet. Do this every night before they go to bed.
4. Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier - Parents who live in cold temperature climates have to deal with heat in the home during the winter. The low humidity during the winter months pulls moisture from the air and leaves your throat, nose and skin parched and dry. Turning up your thermostat also increases dust and pollen exposure which can lead to breathing problems, sinus issues and even asthma. From doing tons of research, I learned that a great way to add moisture back into the home is by using a good humidifier, but even better is one that doubles as an essential oil diffuser. What is great about having this diffuser and humidifier in one is that not only does it return moisture to the air, but also wards off germs and viruses. Essential oils contain anti-microbial elements that trap pathogens before they can enter your body. I have been using this diffuser and humidifier for the last two months now and I have noticed that my 18 month old in particular no longer has dripping sinus and stuffy crusty nose in the mornings. You should definitely give this a try! This particular model is great for small rooms, but if you have a larger room consider buying a larger one so that the mist can fill the room.
Here are the essential oils you will need to keep around. 500ml to 5 drops of essential oil is ideal. Check out www.upnature.com for how to use these essential oils safely.
Essential Oils For colds and Cough: Eucalyptus, Frankincense and Oregano
Germ-Killing Essential Oils: Lemongrass and Clove